Current Addiction Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 34–40 | Cite as

Dissociative Experiences in Gambling Disorder

  • Magdalen G. SchluterEmail author
  • David C. Hodgins
Dissociation and Addictive Behaviors (J Billieux and A Schimmenti, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Dissociation and Addictive Behaviors


Purpose of Review

This review provides a summary of the literature (2012–2018) regarding dissociative experiences in Gambling Disorder (GD). We provide an overview of conceptualizations of dissociation, its relationship to GD, dissociation within specific types of gambling, and harm reduction strategies targeting gambling-related dissociative experiences.

Recent Findings

The gambling literature lacks a unified conceptualization of dissociative experiences, and measures different aspects of dissociation across studies. The propensity of some individuals toward general and in-game dissociation appears to be involved in the development and/or maintenance of GD. Several features of gambling may facilitate in-game dissociation, particularly among individuals with GD. As such, tools that disrupt in-game dissociation may be crucial for harm reduction.


Future research should be aimed at developing a single, operational definition of dissociation in gambling, and this should be systematically examined across gambling modalities. Additionally, ongoing refinement of interventions that effectively interrupt in-game dissociation holds promise for reducing gambling-associated harms.


Gambling disorder Dissociative experiences Harm reduction Altered state of awareness Escape motivation 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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